MIT Drops SAT Subject Tests

With its decision, no college requires all applicants to submit scores. MIT won't even look at them.

March 23, 2020
 

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology no longer plans to consider SAT subject scores in admissions, starting with the class that will enroll in fall 2021. MIT is the last college to require the tests for all applicants.

Not only will MIT not require applicants to take the exams, as it has done, but it will not consider the scores of students who submit them.

Stu Schmill, dean of admissions and student financial services at MIT, made the announcement Friday.

"We made this decision after considerable study, in consultation with our faculty policy committee. We believe this decision will improve access for students applying to MIT," said Schmill.

As far as those who have already taken the tests, Schmill said MIT would not look at the results. "In fairness to all applicants, we won’t consider them for anyone. We think it would be unfair to consider scores only from those who have scored well and therefore choose to send them to us. They are neither recommended nor optional; they are simply not a part of our process anymore," he said.

MIT will still require students to take either the SAT or the ACT.

A spokeswoman for the College Board declined to comment.

A generation ago, the SAT Subject Tests, many times called the SAT II or the achievement tests, were the testing norm at elite colleges. The exams are subject specific and test knowledge of mathematics, sciences, literature, history and languages. (Colleges' decisions on the subject tests do not affect their views on the SAT.)

But gradually, colleges stopped asking for them as requirements. (Some colleges require them for engineering students.)

Before MIT, the last two colleges to drop the exams were the California Institute of Technology and Harvey Mudd College.

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